Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear will draw on his experiences at Wimbledon as he attempts to fight his way through a tide of negative publicity.
Monday's 2-0 victory over Aston Villa was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding midfielder Joey Barton - who found himself the subject of allegations of racist abuse after his spat with Gabriel Agbonlahor.
However, the Magpies' interim boss is determined not to allow the critics to derail his rebuilding mission, saying; "I understand what he [Barton] is going through, because there wasn't a day went by when I didn't have the same sort of stuff when I was at Wimbledon - so it is not new to me."
He added: "I had lots of stuff with Vinnie Jones; I had lots of stuff with John Fashanu; I had lots of stuff going on at Wimbledon.
"But we always made sure we had a competitive spirit, and we managed to handle that. We got through that and became a really good side."
Kinnear has since ordered the 26-year-old to let his football do the talking and warned him his reputation will inevitably precede him as he attempts to rebuild his career after a spell in prison and a lengthy ban.
"Joey is a very talented player. You can see for yourself what ability he has got. He can see a pass - I like that; he can put his foot in - I like that," he added.
"Unfortunately, he has to live with all the criticism. People are prepared to ignore what he has got and hammer him for other things that he does.
"It's always negative with Joey Barton - and people aren't happy until they are caning him, which is a sad thing. I don't think he deserves it.
"He is a good player - and he will always be in my team."
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